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Kopi Luwak Coffee in Bali

Luwak Coffee

What is kopi luwak? It is actually one of the worlds most expensive coffee that is found only in Indonesia. And if you are a serious coffee lover, this is something that you must try when you visit this part of the world.

You may have seen Luwak Coffee being sold or even tried it, but let me just make a few pointers here about this exclusive and unique coffee that has had the world curious since it was introduced.

What is Luwak Coffee?

The funny part about this coffee is that the coffee berries are eaten by the local Asian civet cat and passed through the digestive system before coming out as droppings and then processed to be this high grade coffee.

Sounds disgusting? Yes and no - I personally went on a coffee hunt around Southeast Asia trying out some of the regions best coffee from Borneo, Malaysia, Laos and Vietnam. Finally, I had my chance to try this exquisite coffee during my Bali trip in June 2011. 

After hearing mixed reviews of this exclusive and unique coffee from friends and travellers, it was finally up to me to pass judgement on this special Indonesian coffee.

So during my Bali trip, every other local person that I met, I would ask them about where I could get some Kopi Luwak (pronounced as Co-Pee Loo-Wark) and most of the time, the answer would be 'everywhere'. From souvenir shops to cafes and even to coffee farms. So my quest began. 
 Jual Kopi Luwak
Luwak Coffee sold in packets

My Kopi Luwak Journey

After much conversations with taxi drivers, tour guides and even hotel concierges, I managed to visit a small drink stall that served locals near the Uluwatu Temple in Bali.

A fairly large sign showed that they sold Coffee Luwak and a variety of other coffees and teas, I did not hesitate and made my order for a cup of this.

Was I excited? I was ecstatic! It was the highlight of my coffee quest and when the cup came, I could smell the strong aroma.

My personal guide was laughing at me as he had never seen someone so thrilled to see a cup of coffee. Before drinking this, I had to take a photo first, and then the intense magical moment came. 

The minute the coffee touched my lips, I felt something surreal, something that only I could experience after trying the many types of coffee from around the region. It was very strong but yet aromatic in its own way.

I could not pass immediate judgement therefore I slowly sipped it to flavour the roast and after-sensation. It was good. So good, I finished the cup in mere minutes. I looked into the bottom of the cup and was surprised that it showed coffee residue.

Was the water not to boiling temperature? It could have been according to my guide and therefore he took it to the shop lady to have half a cup of boiling hot water added and I had my fill of one and a half cups of this amazing coffee.

Info on Luwak Coffee

How Much Is Luwak Coffee? 

Kopi Luwak cost around 50,000 Rupiahs or US$5.60 a cup and I thought it was well worth it. The stall even sold sachets of this at the same price where each pack would make you one cup of coffee.

Expensive? Some may think so but if you truly enjoy exotic coffee, you would easily fork out that money for the experience which could be a rare opportunity.

To buy a pound of the Luwak coffee, it could cost anywhere from US$100 to $600. They make great souvenirs for friends and family, only if you can afford this.

Luwak Coffee in Bali
Coffee shop selling Kopi Luwak

Where to find Kopi Luwak in Bali

Many places around Bali and throughout Indonesia sell the Luwak Coffee. You have to ask around about this and your best bet is by talking to the locals or your reliable tour guide.

While most souvenir shops and even supermarkets sell them but you should be careful as there are many Luwak which are just knock-offs and not the real thing. The Bali airport also sells them and these are genuine.

One of the best options is to go a Kopi Luwak Farm Tour where they bring you to see how the entire process is done. Some travel agents sell these unique coffee tours here.

You get to experience seeing the rared civet cats, right to the cleaning process of the beans and then actually tasting the finished product. I should have gone for this but time did not permit so on my next trip to Bali, a farm visit is on top of my itinerary.

Kopi Luwak Bali
Remains of the thick coffee luwak

Other Popular Coffee from Southeast Asia

Among some of my favourite coffees from around Southeast Asia during my travels are the Lao Coffee, which is one of the strongest and found all over Laos.

The Weasel Coffee in Hanoi, Vietnam is not to be missed when you travel here and do look for the authentic places that sell them.

Over in the island of Borneo, the most unique Bottle Coffee in Sabah is definitely a must-try for any coffee lover. These are black coffee which is put into bottles and refrigerated before served. Totally mind-blowing for any coffee lover.

In Malaysia, there are many local brewers in smaller towns that produce quality cups of coffee like the famous Ipoh White Coffee in the state of Perak and of course, the popular Tenom Coffee in Sabah Borneo.

Sabah Tenom Coffee
Tenom Coffee from Sabah Borneo

These outstanding local brews make my coffee hunt ever so interesting where there are only a few more that I am looking forward to trying on my future travels.

They include the Kopi Muncak which is made from the dung of the barking deer and the famous Kape (Barako Coffee) from the Philippines. If you have tried any of the above, I would love to hear your opinion.


I have always found local coffee much more interesting compared to the trendy cafe-style coffee like Starbucks and Coffee Bean, I would explore the many coffee shops around here, especially those who roast their own beans for business.

For me, travelling around Southeast Asia gave me an opportunity to try each of the countries local brews and one of the best I have tried to date is the Kopi Luwak Coffee in Bali, Indonesia.


Yee Ling said...

Heard so much about this Kopi Luwak but still waiting for a chance to try out this expensive coffee...

Unknown said...

I don't mind to pay more if the coffee really nice :-)

Malaysia Asia said...

Yee Ling - Next time you go to Indonesia, make sure you ask for it.

Tina - Kopi Luwak is really nice. Just try it one day.

adventureswithben said...

I don't drink coffee, but wow that's expensive. Worse than Starbucks!

Debbie @ European Travelista said...

I have heard of this coffee but am not sure I could try it! I'm glad to have your opinion though.

inka said...

I alwa<y wanted to know about this coffee, now I do, thanks to you. I'm a coffee addict, so this is something I definitely need to try some time.

Sophie said...

Much more interesting than Starbucks indeed :)

Spencer said...

I hear the coffee in Bali is awesome!

vasco said...

Very interesting.As a coffee lover I always try different roasts from all over the world - whatever I can find.
But from your description I can already tell I'd love it. Great pictures!

Used Car Dealer said...

I would love to try this coffee Kopi Luwak as long as the preparation and the coffee itself is sanitary and free of any bacteria or germs. My sister who is teaching in Indonesia brought home a pack of this Kopi Luwak before but I didn't have the guts to try it then.

robin said...

Never heard of this before and now I want some!

Malaysia Asia said...

Ben - You have to at least try a cup of this when given the chance.

Debbie - It taste way much better than it sounds :)

Inka - You might even get a whole pound of this once you have tried it.

Sophie - For sure! As mentioned, I don't really like cafe-coffee.

Spencer - There's the famous Bali Coffee and this, Weasel Coffee. Try it when you have the chance.

Vasco - Thank you. I hope you have the opportunity to try this in Bali or Vietnam.

U.C.D - It is one of the highly talked about coffee. Even Oprah did a talk about this on her show.

Robin - Next time when you're in Southeast Asia, look this up. Also, gimmi a shout!

Silver Jewelry Jaipur said...

really a amazing post so nice and great

Michael Dale said...

Great blog. Really described everything well. I have had Kopi Luwak on a visit to Bali and it really gave me a taste for proper coffee. I wasn't a coffee connessiuer when I visited but have become one since! Would love to go back and tantalise my enhanced taste buds now.

Anonymous said...

Michael, malaysian coffee seems to be ver nice too. I have heard of some use words such as "awesome" to describe it. There is a place nearby to where I reside, owned by a friend, it's called cafe 748. The coffee there is like nothing I've ever tasted before. It would definitely be tantalising for you. The origin of the name of the cafe is apparently that 7 means "togetherness", 4 means love and 8 is the cafe owners number for his wife. She runs the place and is very nice. They are childhood sweethearts..probably why the coffee is so good! lol.

Anonymous said...

oh, just to finish this story, 2 can be synonymous with 8 also. i'm so bad with timings of comments, unlike some.i'm like that with photos on fb too! 12 and 2 are 1 was his original concept for the cafe name. Enough of that. coffee there is fabulous anyway.

Bali local guide said...

Coffee luwak/coffee musang (civet coffee) is a milky and has nice flavour. to meet the process and see the civet can be seen at the daily tour in Bali. there are lot of coffee plantation on the way to Kintamani volcano tour and Ulun danu temple tour. Test the coffee luwak for $ 6/cup.

Perkhidmatan Kereta Sewa Murah di Bandung said...

Kopi Luwak is really nice. Just try it one day.